Climate action presents an opportunity to grow the economy sustainably. The New Climate Economy report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate shows that up to 90% of climate actions required to stay below 2° warming are compatible with economic development and broadly shared improvements in living standards. Many of these investments are profitable even without considering their benefits for the climate. For example, there are huge health benefits to be gained in reducing air pollution in cities by shifting from cars to buses and bicycles.
To ensure that the Paris Agreement will be a sustainable success, active engagement is required to fully implement the INDCs and to ratchet up ambition in the coming years. Diplomats will therefore have to convey one key argument more convincingly than ever before: if we compare the costs and all benefits, it is clear that climate action is an imperative as it simply makes economic sense. Carbon-intensive fuels, resources and processes come at great cost to human lives, the environment, and the economy.
Diplomacy can go a long way in helping to create the conditions for the sustainable transition we need:
These questions have been the subject of a report published and launched in autumn 2016 under the title Diplomacy - Catalyzing the Climate Economy. The report builds on an expert discussion at the German Federal Foreign Office organised by adelphi in November 2015.